Owls pick up win at home tournament
The Marshall baseball team snapped a six-game losing streak by winning the opening game of its tournament Friday, but then dropped a pair of competitive contests.
The Owls jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the Friday morning tilt against Grain Valley, holding on to win, 8-7.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, junior Garrett Clouse doubled off the top of the fence and crossed with the tying run on junior Zach Maupin's sacrifice fly. The first two Owls batting in the second drew walks, both coming in on junior Eric Brayman's single.
Maupin singled and scored on a grounder, with a wild pitch allowing a second run in the third. Seniors Devin Cott and McCartney Rocha stroked RBI singles in the three-run fourth.
The Eagles began their comeback bid with senior Kade Jones' two-run homer in the fifth. He then clubbed a three-run double in the sixth to pull Grain Valley (3-4) to within a run, but didn't get to the plate in the seventh when senior Logan Harris got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to record the save.
Kirksville beat the Owls 10-6 in the second contest Friday, but nearly surrendered an early 6-0 lead. Helping the Tigers build that margin were senior Kylan Easley with a two-run double in the first and back-to-back RBI doubles by seniors Grant Novinger and Brandon Beeler in the fourth.
Marshall closed the margin to one run with five in the sixth, starting with Clouse's lead-off homer. Maupin doubled, a flubbed fielder's choice put runners on the corners and Harris drove in a pair with single. Cott doubled, with a grounder and sac fly plating the last two runs.
The Owls were in position to challenge, but Kirksville (9-2) pulled away with four runs in the bottom of the sixth -- getting RBI singles from senior Joe Brawner, junior Landon Motley and senior Tristan Songer -- to extend its winning streak to seven games.
The Tigers won their lone game Saturday, 5-1 over Grain Valley, to take the title when rain prevented the completion of any other contests -- except for Marshall's 1-0 loss to Chillicothe.
That was a heartbreaker for the Owls, their third walk-off loss in the last two weeks. Sophomore Gunner Leach allowed only four hits, walked none and struck out seven over eight innings for the Hornets.
Marshall senior Harrison Rocha more than matched him over the first five frames, yielding only one hit and fanning six batters. He ran into trouble in the sixth with two walks and a single, but senior Alex Jones relieved with one out and stranded the loaded bases.
Jones got through the seventh untouched, but senior Derek Hussey led off the eighth with a homer to left field to give Chillicothe (4-6) the victory.
Junior Eric Brayman had two hits in the finale for the Owls (4-10), who will host Mexico on Monday.
Contact Chris Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org